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Marie Marley
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Marie Marley is the author of “Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy,” available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com and her website (www.ComeBackEarlyToday.com). The Foreword was written by Gregg Warshaw, MD, former president of the American Geriatric Society.

The book was a finalist in the Santa Fe Writer’s Project Literary Awards, the Eric Hoffer First Horizon Awards, the Writers-Editors International Writing Competition and the Readers Favorite Awards. She also hosts her own blog and publishes a monthly newsletter dealing with issues relevant to Alzheimer’s caregivers. There is a newsletter signup form on her website.

Marie had seven years of experience caring for her Romanian soul mate, Dr. Edward Theodoru. While caring for him she acquired a keen personal understanding of the numerous complex and painful issues Alzheimer’s caregivers face, and developed successful solutions to all the problems that came her way. These are detailed in her book.

Marie is a sought-after speaker on Alzheimer’s caregiving. She is also the author of more than 130 articles published on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room and the Huffington Post. She is currently a volunteer visitor to residents of the Clare Bridge memory care facility in Overland Park, Kansas. Clare Bridge is a part of The Sweet Life at Brookdale Place.

Marie has more than 30 years of experience as a grant writer and consultant, with a focus on geriatric medicine and family medicine, including grants on dementia-related topics. She was the grant writer at the American Academy of Family Physicians from 2007 – 2013 and was a grant writer at the University of Cincinnati Family Medicine Department for 30 years before that.

She lives in Kansas City with her little Shih Tzu, Joey. She can be reached at Marie@ComeBackEarlyToday.com.

Entries by Marie Marley

How a Man With Alzheimer's Proved Chivalry Is Not Dead

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 7:13 AM

On my birthday one year, I came home from work and saw that Ed, my beloved Romanian life partner, had snuck into my house and left yellow roses on my dining room table. That was so typical of him. Ever gallant, he never missed an opportunity to deliver flowers to...

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Alzheimer's Caregivers: The Pros and Cons of Placing Your Loved One in a Facility

(1) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 2:30 PM

Author's Note: This post assumes there is a decent, affordable facility within a reasonable driving distance. It also assumes that the person with Alzheimer's is in the mid to late stages of the disease, and high quality caregiving at home is becoming increasingly more challenging, if not impossible.

CONS

People...

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One Man's Descent Into Alzheimer's -- Does Any of This Sound Familiar?

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 4:30 PM

The Beginning of Ed's Long Journey Downward

Ed was my beloved Romanian life partner of 30 years. Today, my mind flashed back to the first months of 2000, when his dementia began to become more prominent. He had been exhibiting mild memory problems for a few years. These consisted primarily...

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Is Alzheimer's Always Depressing? I Think Not

(12) Comments | Posted March 8, 2014 | 6:08 AM

Alzheimer's is a deadly serious disease and deservedly so. Yet I ask this: Does being 'serious' mean that it is horrible and depressing? Yes, it can be horrible and depressing. But is it always that way? I think not. I think to some extent at some times it depends on...

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How I Want to Be Treated If I Develop Alzheimer's

(3) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 10:25 AM

Oftentimes, it's difficult to know the best way to interact and communicate with a person who has Alzheimer's. And so I'm going to let people know in advance how I would like to be treated should I develop this disease.

First of all, I want to be placed in a...

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Starting Hospice Care for a Loved One: A Heartbreaking Decision

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 11:36 AM

What happens when your loved one is ready for hospice care but you aren't? I'd like to share my personal experience with this situation.

According to Gregg Warshaw, MD, Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati and former President of the American Geriatric Society (personal communication), the following...

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10 Things People With Alzheimer's Have Taught Me

(3) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 1:07 PM

I was a caregiver for my beloved Romanian life partner for seven years. Furthermore, I currently volunteer to make weekly visits to four women who live at Clare Bridge, a Brookdale Senior Living memory care facility in Overland Park, Kansas. (I refer to them as "my ladies.") I have learned...

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Bring Joy to a Person With Alzheimer's

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 2:12 PM

I volunteer to visit some women with dementia at a local memory care facility. Ethel is one of my "ladies." One day I took her a small wrapped gift -- just a decorative note pad. When she saw the present her whole face lit up.

As she was beginning to...

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The Joys of Volunteering to Visit People With Alzheimer's

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 2:33 PM

I arrived for my first half day of volunteering to visit three ladies with Alzheimer's at Brookdale Senior Living's Clare Bridge memory care facility near my home in Overland Park, Kansas.

Carolyn, my first lady to see, was sitting in the lobby with three other residents. I went up to...

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How I Am Coping With Mild Cognitive Impairment

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 11:09 AM

In my last article, I revealed that I have Mild Cognitive Impairment. I defined the disorder, listed typical symptoms, mentioned the prognosis and discussed my own symptoms -- what I have difficulty doing and what I still can do.

In this article, I'm going to talk about how I am...

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Alzheimer's Blogger Receives Shocking Diagnosis

(3) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 5:41 AM

I was on my way to see my family doctor because I'd been experiencing confusion and memory problems. The strange thing is I got lost. And I'd been going to her office for seven years. When I finally got there, we talked about my symptoms and she recommended that I...

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Alzheimer's Stories That Matter

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 10:06 AM

I arrived at Ethel's door one Thursday afternoon. After a long pause (which made me guess she'd been taking a nap), she opened the door and smiled when she saw me.

"Come in! Come in, honey!"

Before I had a chance to sit down she started showing me the...

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People With Alzheimer's Say the Darndest Things

(3) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 3:29 PM

Art Linkletter's show featured some of the Darndest Things kids say. My experience is that people with Alzheimer's can say some pretty amusing things, too.

Many times, the person is aware, and even proud, he or she has said something humorous. Then we laugh with the person -- not at...

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People With Alzheimer's May Still Be 'There'

(3) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 2:21 PM

There was a lady with Alzheimer's I volunteered to visit weekly at a local memory care facility. I'm going to call her Carolyn. Before my first visit the administration told me she loved Elvis. So I bought an Elvis CD and took it, along with my portable CD player, to...

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3 Ways Abuse Changed Me for the Better

(2) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 11:38 AM

Yes, I was abused as a child. And no, I'm not going to go into it here.

What I am going to do is talk about some ways that the experience changed me for the better. Not that I think anyone should ever be abused to receive...

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10 Tips for Visiting a Friend With Alzheimer's

(3) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 1:16 PM

Tom and his wife, Nancy, were going to visit George, one of Tom's previous colleagues at the University of Cincinnati. This was their first visit to George at his long-term care facility and they were quite nervous.

They didn't know precisely what condition George was in, and they had...

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Just Who Was This Romanian, Edward Theodoru, Any Way?

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 2:04 PM

Those of you who regularly read my articles here have seen many stories about my Romanian life partner, Ed, and my relationship with him. But all of those have focused exclusively on events during the years he had Alzheimer's.

Now I want to tell you a little about the...

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Why You Should Visit Loved Ones With Alzheimer's -- Even if They Don't Recognize You

(2) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 3:05 PM

There was a lady -- Helen -- who had dementia. Every time her daughter, Heidi, visited, Helen showed no sign of recognizing her daughter. Heidi was heartbroken. Time after time it was the same. She'd visit and get no response whatsoever, so finally she made the painful decision to stop...

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Family Members: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at the Nursing Home

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 11:08 AM

When I went to visit my cousin, Joyce, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana last fall, we went to the nursing home to see her mother. The minute we got there, Joyce saw that her mother was dressed in a sweatsuit. She had specifically asked the staff to use the sweats only...

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Why Alzheimer's Caregiving and Pride Don't Mix

(5) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 3:36 PM

One night I was helping Ed, my Romanian life partner of 30 years, pay his bills. He'd been showing signs of dementia and always needed assistance with that task. Unfortunately, I put the stamp on an envelope a little askew. When Ed noticed, he lost it.

"Marie," he hollered,...

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